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Foggy tells him his costume looks silly, and Matt doesn't know what to say to that.

He tells Foggy he can't see it, and he smirks about it, and Foggy laughs and claps him on the shoulder. Foggy comments on the horns again, how they're useless unless he plans on headbutting someone. Matt smiles, and repeats that he can't see it, and is glad that Foggy's hearing isn't as good as his because then he'd know that he's almost angry about it.

Because for all the jokes and puns and everything else he has going for him, he still misses it.

Of course he misses his sight.

But he wonders, if he had his sight back, would he lose whatever it was he had now? His own manner of seeing?

(“No, no manner,” Foggy had insisted.)

He doesn't know.

Stick told him that sight was a distraction, that in order to be like him, he had to forget that it once was useful. And that was fine and great for Stick, who had been blind since birth, but Matt had nine years in the light and suddenly he was terrified of the dark.

 

But he longs to see his own face, and maybe that's vain, but he hasn't seen how he looks since he was nine years old, and god, it's been a long time. Because mirrors are flat and he can't visualize projections, so photographs are also out. All he knows is by touch, where his nose bends and where his lips curve and where his hair dips into his face. He's not even sure if his hair is still the same colour he remembers it as. They tell him it's red, but that means nothing.

 

Is it red like the fresh blood on his father's face when he came home after a fight? Is it red like the dried blood on the kitchen table the morning after he stitched his father up? Is it red like the cracks in his knuckles, the look he got in his eye, the guilt on his face when he dragged Matty to church and bowed his head?

Or is it none of them?

 

It's not something that he can just ask people, not even his best friend, because not everyone has longed so hard for colours they can no longer see to be explained to them in terms they can understand.

 

It's one of his favourite things when people tell him colours, before wincing, and apologizing. He tells them he wasn't born blind; he remembers colours. Then he smiles at them, and they go back to whatever they were saying before. But they give him primary colours, secondary colours, the seven colours that every child learns and colours onto a rainbow.

He wants more. He wants shades and tones and shadows, he wants green like freshly cut grass, he wants brown like the city after it's rained all night, he wants purple like a rare wine that he'd never be able to afford.

But they give him colours and move on, and they tell him his hair is red.

He's not bitter, he really isn't.

 

But his memories of colour are fading, no matter how hard he tries to grasp them, and now red is the taste of his mouth with a split lip. Red is the feeling when someone he cares about dies. Red is the sound of sirens when he lays awake at night and can't sleep and wonders if he should be out there instead. Red is the heat in his chest and the ache in his muscles after he spent most of the night on the streets and still feels like he didn't make a difference.

 

But there are some things that just can't be solved with violence. Some things that aren't supposed to be red.

 

So they tell him his hair is red and his blood is red and his costume is red and he's not sure if it's too much or if it's just right.